Despite a pickup in federal stimulus projects, construction's unemployment rate grew worse in September, rising to 17.1%, from 16.5% in August, as the industry lost another 64,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Construction's September jobless rate also was well above the year-earlier mark of 9.9%. Construction's rate remains the highest among U.S. industries. In its latest monthly report, issued Oct. 2, BLS noted that construction has shed a total of 1.5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Of September's 64,000 construction jobs lost, 39,000 were in the non-residential sector and 12,000 in heavy construction, BLS
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.